Used oil from Lewis Hamilton's 2008 Championship winning McLaren MP4-24 has been utilised to paint a portrait of the reigning world champ. Only 50 of the paintings will be printed.

An oil painter from the US has become another artist to immortalise reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton. Commissioned by Vodafone McLaren fuel partner ExxonMobil, painter David Macaluso portrayed the youngest ever F1 champion wearing his work overall. Macaluso used the oil that drove Hamilton to his championship title in 2008.

The painter is no stranger to using the slippery liquid for his art. "I've been recycling used motor oil into paintings since 2005," he said, "so it was exciting to do a portrait of Lewis, and it was a privilege. When people look at my portrait of Lewis Hamilton, I want them to know it contains the Mobil 1 that circulated inside his Mercedes-Benz engine. History was made by Hamilton with this oil, and to experience this painting is to be eye-to-eye with that history. Painting with the Mobil 1 used motor oil offered a wide range of tones and was obviously a very refined product from its texture. It was extremely smooth and very particle-rich, with all the engine dirt in perpetual suspension, making for a great painting medium."

The painting, one of a limited 50 to be printed, will be available for public view for the first time at an ExxonMobil VIP customer event which takes place before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. It coincides with Britain's National Oil Check week which encourages motorists to keep doing basic maintenance checks in their cars, especially oil checks.

The subject himself seems to have been highly chuffed with the finished work. "I'm very impressed with the oil painting," said Hamilton. "I've always known that the Mobil 1 in my race car is an important component that can give us an edge over our rivals in some circumstances, but I'd never have guessed you could use it to paint with; the oil gives this picture a unique look and feel..."


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